Well it happened again. I came across a new tabletop system and got dragged in. This time I started a Dropzone Commander Shaltari army. The game is from Hawk Wargames and shares the same universe as Dropfleet Commander. The Shaltari are the most developed alien race in the universe. The design of the vehicles is brilliant and really stands out on the battlefield. Compared to Warhammer 40k they are like a mixture between the Tau and Eldar.
The key element in playing Shaltari is their gate system which makes their playstyle quiet unique. Instead of choosing transport units for the seperate battlegroups they deploy their gates in a “pool” similar to a seperate battlegroup. Once deployed each unit can use every available gate to teleport to another one. The gate size itself retricts the limitation of how many units can dematerialize and materialize via one gate at any given time. This makes the army very flexible since units don’t have to get in their transport, fly to the destination and disembark there. They just dematerialize via one gate in range and materialize via another, anywhere on the table.
Another important point is the fact that every vehicle is equipped with passive countermeasures in form of a shield. Since Shaltari vehicles are not that well armoured they all have at least a 5+ save versus incoming projectiles of any kind.
For the start I got myself a Shaltari starter army box and some blisters. For now I got the folowing units.
- 3x Eden gate
- 2x Spirit light gate
- 3x Heaven Terragate
- 3x Tomahawk grav tank
- 3x Kukri grav tank
- 4x Yari light grav tank
- 4 bases braves (I have the minis to build 2 more but need more bases)
- 1x Jaguar warstrider
- 1x Coyote warstrider
- 1x command cards
First off a Jaguar warstrider. This is by far my favorite Shaltari miniature and one o the reasons I chose them. Armed with a good amount of anti tank and anti air weapons this is a good allrounder weapon.
Second were the main grav tanks from the starter box. Tomahawk anti tank grav tanks and Kukri anti air grav tanks. I added light stands to the tanks, giving them more of a hovering look. They get a nice base later.
I’ve choosen a colour scheme similar to the aztec one in the rulebook. Since I have no airbrush I have to work a lot with drybrushing and washes. I tested out the colours on the grav tanks first. The contrast looks nice and I am quiet happy with the overall look, since this is the first army which has such a bright color sheme.
Since the models have lots of details and I don’t want to blend all the models with layers (which would take ages), I used a very fast speedpainting workflow. I started with a black-white priming and then I applied one wash of GW Gulliman Blue followed by another wash of GW Drakenhof Nightshade. To create a sort of glowing blue effect the models got drybrushed with GW Skink Blue followed by VMC Sky Blue. I applied the drybrush controlled to get the outer edges brighter then the darker parts. After that, a quick edge highlighting with Sky Blue plus white was done to finish the main colour. Then just details and the grav wing things were left to do. The teleportation network (the little circles) then again got a light wash with Gulliman Blue. Canopies got a black base followed by a dark green highlight, the teleport prisms were painted with green highlighted with light green. Grav wing things (I hope you know what I mean) were first painted yellow and then inked with gory red to create a nice orange finish. After the metal parts were touched up with gun metal and chainmal silver the whole vehicle got a matt varnish folowed by a gloss coat for the canopies. Sounds like a lot of work but it went down really quick.
Next will be the gates and maybe infantry units. Stay tuned.